Understanding Salafism


RWTH research project to compare Salafist beliefs in Germany and Morocco. The guiding principle here is to eventually establish local cultures of prevention against religious radicalization. 


Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Institute for Catholic Theology at RWTH Aachen University is launching a four-year research project to investigate the Salafi movement. “We aim to understand the way of thinking within Salafi circles, where the need to outdo one another and have the moral authority in interpreting the teachings of Islam goes hand in hand,” explains project manager Youssef Dennaoui.

To this end, the project will conduct a sociologically and theologically sound analysis to compare the situations in Germany and Morocco. International commonalities and local peculiarities of Salafism are to be investigated. The goal is to understand better why people are increasingly attracted to the ideology in Germany and Europe.

The research project at Aachen University is part of the “Monitoring System and Transfer Platform Radicalization ” (MOTRA) cluster of excellence funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and ResearchBMBF. The project’s team will be in close contact with other research groups from renowned universities or other scientific research institutions to discuss findings and prevention strategies against radicalization. “At the end of the project, we hope to have laid the groundwork to promote a culture of prevention that will counteract the radical Salafist school of thought in Germany in the long term,” says applicant Patrick Becker from RWTH.”

RWTH Institute for Catholic Theology Contacts

Interim Professor Dr. Patrick Becker
Telephone: +49 241 80-96024

Dr. Youssef Dennaoui
Institute for Catholic Theology
Telephone: +49 241 80 93524